Helping International Students Succeed: Improving the Post Graduation Work

 
Helping International Students Succeed: Improving the Post Graduation Work

 
Helping International Students Succeed: Improving the Post Graduation Work

 


 Permit Program for International Students
 OPINION-EDITORIAL BY THE HONOURABLE DIANE FINLEY, P.C., M.P.
 April 2008
 Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of announcing our government> '> s
 plan to expand the post-graduate work permit program as a step towards
 building a stronger Canada.  Today, some 150,000 international students
 are getting Canadian work experience and are building lasting
 relationships, while adapting to the Canadian way of life > ->  and they
 possess all the ingredients for success as newcomers.

 Since taking leadership in 2006, our government has welcomed more foreign  students. The top three source countries of international students to  Canada were The Republic of Korea, The People> '> s Republic of China, and  France. Between 2005 and 2006, the increase in students from these  countries was 1,795, 1,736, and 685 respectively, as compared to 278, 294  and 123 between 2004 and 2005.  In Toronto, the top three source countries  for 2006 were The Republic of Korea, the People> '> s Republic of China,  and India. We are fortunate that these international students choose  Canada as their location of choice.  Their success is in fact the success  of all Canadians.

 This is why it was so important to ensure that international students
 receive the opportunities that they deserve, in gaining work experience
 and in building a fulfilling environment for themselves.  We all know that
 gaining work experience while getting an education is a challenging task.
 Combined with a new environment, and in many cases, a new language, this  becomes even more challenging.  But this is the context in which
 international students thrive.

 Prior to our government> '> s changes, most international graduates were  eligible only for one or two-year work permits.  In many cases, just as
 they began to settle into Canada, their permits would expire > ->  and
 when this would happen, their skills, their relationships in Canada, and
 their invaluable contributions to our local communities would be placed on
 the backburner.  Our government does not want international students to
 leave.  We want to give them the opportunity to call Canada home
 permanently, by giving them more options to put into place the skills that
 they have acquired here.

 So, as of this week, most international students who graduate with a
 Canadian diploma or degree will be eligible to apply for an open work
 permit that is valid for three years.  Graduates will no longer have to
 receive a job offer in order to obtain a work permit.

 Also importantly, the job will not have to be in the students> '>  field
 of study.  Through this significant change, international students will no
 longer have to feel the anxiety of finding a job within their field in
 order to gain work experience in Canada.  Just like al> l other Canadian
 graduates, international students are key contributors to the social and
 economic fabric of our local communities > ->  and they deserve various
 options, just like their counterparts, in gaining work experience.

 Later this year, our government will be implementing a new avenue of
 immigration called the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).  Through this new
 program, certain international students with Canadian degrees and skilled
 work experience will also be able to apply for permanent residence from
 within Canada, as opposed to traveling to their source country to apply
 for the same.

 Our great country was built by newcomers.  Year after year, wave after
 wave, newcomers and their talents have been a source of our nation's
 strength.  We want newcomers to join us and we want them to become
 successful Canadians. I am more than glad that international students will
 now have the ability to thrive within a more welcoming Canadian milieu.


 The Hon. Diane Finley, P.C., M.P.
 Canada ' s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration